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Travel. It always seems to be focused on glorified sunny beaches or crystal white snow in faraway lands that you need to book flights in advance and a place to stay, yet travel can mean literally going anywhere. So, why not start with where you live. It is common for visiting family members to have done more of the "touristy" things than yourself in your home area, simply because you are always there and take for granted the amazing things that might surround you.
I for one, am lucky enough to live in the Lake District in the North West of the UK, yet I am definitely a culprit when it comes to craving travel far and wide, when the real beauty lies right before me. Winding roads surrounded by bumpy, sheep filled fields showcase the beauty of the weathered mountains and the countless meres and waters that offer a panoramic view. Whether it is wrapping up warm in winter and braving a long walk through the bracken and mud, fuelled on hot chocolate, or wild swimming in the lakes, I am very lucky to live where I do.
It is revitalising to every once in a while, look at your surroundings with a fresh perspective. How will your housemates view where you live when visiting for the first time? If you were visiting for the first time, what would your initial thoughts be?
From here, you can visit local places and view them as something new. You may simply need to walk out of your house and down the road or drive for half an hour to an area you perhaps haven't fully explored yet. This is the best way to travel on a budget, there are no or little transportation costs, no need to book somewhere to stay and it can be as spontaneous as you want. If you live in a city, there will be plenty of areas yet to explore and if you live in a village, it may be the case of needing to hop on a bus or train to somewhere nearby that perhaps you have always travelled through, but never actually stopped to investigate.
My home is surrounded by plenty of beautiful walks, which I find as the best means to discover hidden places, camouflaged from the tourist's scent. As the Lake District is a tourist trap, especially in the summer, with hordes of people taking on the hills, navigating rented boats and filling the ice-cream shops, locals tend to avoid certain areas at certain times in order to escape from the masses of people and have some serenity.
I for one have found one of the most gorgeous, scenic walks, with a view of Lake Windermere, woodland enveloped pathways which lead you to a hidden tarn, all of which is concealed from the hive of tourists. This secret walk makes me feel as though I am away from home, when in reality, I was only 20 minutes down the road.
Obviously, I am lucky to live where I do in this respect, but this discovery can be translated to any location and become anything; a cool vintage shop or a hidden beach. Cities can hold plenty of museums, hidden "hipster" streets or intricate architecture, so pretend to be a tourist for the day and tick some of "the things to do" in your city off.
This home-centred travel not only saves you money, but also cultivates a more appreciative mindset and encourages a greater appreciation and childlike curiosity for your surroundings. Remember, this can be done at home or at University, so you can get a group of friends together and go and find a new hidden cafe or an out-of-the-way park which you have not tested or explored yet. Travel does not have to be expensive, or long and pre-planned, it can be done simply by walking out of your house with a brand-new perspective.